Navigation Links
Chronic pain treatments work better together, says anesthesiologist

Kingston, ON People who suffer from debilitating neuropathic pain may get more relief and sleep better by combining two commonly-prescribed drugs.

A new, federally-funded study by Queen's University researchers has found that taking the drugs together is a more effective treatment than taking either of them individually.

When given both an anti-seizure drug (gabapentin) and an antidepressant (nortriptyline), patients suffering from neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage or disease experienced less pain than when they took one or the other individually, reports Ian Gilron, director of Clinical Pain Research for Queen's Departments of Anesthesiology, and Pharmacology & Toxicology, and an anesthesiologist at Kingston General Hospital.

"It was also exciting to discover the effect of this combination on sleep interference," adds Dr. Gilron, noting that people rated sleep interference with the combined drugs as 1.0 on a scale of 10, compared to 2.2 when they took each drug individually. "That's a very important issue for this group of patients, whose debilitating, unrelenting pain often interferes with normal sleep."

This is the first time Dr. Gilron has been able to find a drug combination that also helps patients sleep better. An earlier trial investigated the effects of combining morphine the other type of commonly prescribed drug for neuropathic pain with the anti-seizure drug gabapentin. The patients' pain lessened significantly, but they still had as much trouble sleeping.

Dr. Gilron says it's important to understand how drugs interact, since 45 per cent of Canadians being treated for neuropathic pain take two or more pain drugs. There may also be safety issues. "We need more evidence from carefully conducted trials in support of each particular combination, and let the doctors and patients know about such results," Dr. Gilron stresses.

While this research focuses on two specific types of neuropathic pain diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia the methodology could also be applied to the study of other chronic conditions such as cancer-related pain, spinal disk disease, and the pain experienced after chemotherapy and mastectomies, says Dr. Gilron.

Results of the study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), are published today in the international health journal, The Lancet.

"This is a very interesting and important result," says Dr. Jane Aubin, Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. "Many chronic pain sufferers don't sleep well, and they get caught in a vicious cycle in which less sleep equals more pain. Dr. Gilron's work offers new hope to Canadians desperate to put an end to this debilitating situation."


Contact: Nancy Dorrance
Queen's University

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers develop an integrated treatment for veterans with chronic pain and posttraumatic stress
2. Cost Savings Adds to Value of Preventing Chronic Disease
3. Drug-eluting stents safe, effective for treatment of chronic total occlusions
4. K-State biologist to further study of cellular process that plays role in chronic disease
5. Mayo Clinic researchers lead national trial testing new treatment for chronic, severe indigestion
6. Health staff and relatives underestimate chronic pain experienced by nursing home residents
7. Combat Exposure Tied to Chronic High Blood Pressure
8. Two Treatments Equally Effective for Chronic Pelvic Pain
9. AUDIO from Medialink, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. & Pfizer Inc.: Coping with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
10. A Wound that Does Not Heal: Frost & Sullivan Reveals the Impact of Chronic Ulcers on the European Healthcare System
11. Chronic Media Multi-Tasking Makes It Harder to Focus
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of ... Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his ... veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company has developed a ... and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has been ... standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy Free, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about ... intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy ... especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & ... by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of ... will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Vohra Chief Medical Officer Dr. ... colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other clinicians at various events in ... , "At many of these conferences we get to educate other physicians, facility ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, ... tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ("EpiVax") ... and immune engineering, today announced a new ... (H7N9) vaccine. ... influenza and presents a challenge for traditional ... to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and molecular ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... -- Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ™, ... ... Hearing Aids ... store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: